3 observations from Dallas’ 116-115 win over Denver

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Denver Nuggets 116-115 on the road in Denver on Tuesday night. It’s hard to imagine a more impressive road win for a Dallas team that’s just 2-8 on the road this season.

Luka Doncic had a “quiet” triple-double, his 52nd, with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, but it wasn’t always pretty. His five turnovers, especially his two in the fourth quarter when the Mavericks struggled to score and gave up a 10-point lead late in the game, were uncharacteristic. Tim Hardaway Jr. led Dallas with 29 points, going 6-of-8 from the field to extend his hot streak. It’s only the fifth time this season that a Maverick not named Luka Doncic has led the scoring.

Denver’s scoring was generally egalitarian, with all five starters scoring in double digits, but Aaron Gordon led the way with 27 points and Burns Hyland added 20 from the bench.

Despite taking a 111-101 lead by 10 points with 4:07 left, Dallas played cold and went scoreless for nearly four minutes. Denver took the lead on a Bruce Brown 3-pointer and the Nuggets took a 112-111 lead with 37 seconds left. Dorian Finney-Smith’s breakthrough 3-pointer responded and broke the Mavericks’ cold shot to re-establish their lead. A couple of tight free throws and a Jamal Murray turnover cemented Dallas’ best win of the season.

true courage

Things turned bleak after Dallas lost five of its six games, culminating in a crushing defeat at the hands of the underdog Pistons. It left a bad taste, and even a win over the Knicks the Suns couldn’t quite get rid of from the palette of Mavericks fans.

However, the back-to-back victories over a team with a strong home record felt like the Mavericks might have moved past the early-season dread they found themselves in.

bless the mess

Nice shooting numbers from both teams belied a somewhat ugly game. While both teams shot better than 50 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range, Dallas, typically one of the best ball-handling teams in the league, had more turnovers than On average, 17 hits were made. A flurry of turnovers to start the third quarter cost Dallas the six-point lead they built at halftime and trailed Denver by two, but the game was tied 10-4.

The whistle is also hard to ignore. So far this year, the average number of fouls per team is about 20, with the Mavericks and Nuggets topping the charts with 32 and 28, respectively, stifling the big shots that teams usually create on high shooting percentages. Partial foul.

hustle to the end

At the bottom of its recent slump, Dallas found itself on the wrong side of some lopsided rebounding battles.

In a way, the Mavericks’ willingness to hustle has to do with their ability to shoot the ball. It’s a good sign, then, that even though they struggled in the game and missed a lot of shots with tired legs, they didn’t let it stop them from getting to the basket.

The Mavericks won 10-8 in the rebounding battle in the fourth quarter.

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